CORANGAMITE Shire is embarking on a major plan to secure more industrial land to serve the growing needs of the south-west as a key agriculture producer.
The shire wants to amend its planning scheme to free up land for large industrial developments, mainly for dairy production, but also for sheep and beef production, natural gas exploration and manufacturing.
An audit of available land last September showed that 75 per cent of small industrial sites under half a hectare and 58 per cent of sites bigger than two hectares had already been developed.
There are 158 lots of land covering a total of 210 hectares that are presently used for industrial purposes in the shire.
Consultants found reserves of industrial land in the shire were reaching capacity. They said there was demand in Camperdown for large highway-front lots while towns in the southern part of the shire would experience demand for more industrial land as the population increased.
The council has prepared an amendment to its planning scheme to release extra industrial-zoned land in five towns to meet demand for the next 15 years.
It plans to rezone the Camperdown saleyards from public use to industrial and prepare a master plan to develop land on the site that is excess to requirements.
Camperdown will also be developed and promoted as the regional commercial and retail centre for the shire.
Sites at the corner of Cobden-Terang Road and Grayland Street in Cobden and along Cobden-Port Campbell Road, near the existing dairy manufacturing and feed mill plants, have been identified as suitable for rezoning to industrial.
The shire wants to rezone land fronting the Princes Highway at the corner of Peterborough Road to allow for future business or industrial development in Terang.
It has also acknowledged that lobbying for reticulated gas is a priority to attract new businesses to the town.
Sites at Simpson earmarked for rezoning are the former dairy factory on Lavers Hill Road and land at the corner of the Lavers Hill Road and Princetown Road.
Additional industrial sites have also been recommended in Timboon, west of the township on the Timboon-Nullawarre Road, and on the Timboon-Scotts Creek Road where businesses already exist.
Public comments on the amendment will close on June 5.